Ethnocentrism, By William Graham Sumner Essay example

1154 Words Sep 15th, 2015 null Page
Ethnocentrism occurs everywhere and every day on many different levels. While it can create a cohesive force to keep people in a certain group together, allowing minority groups in oppressive conditions to create an identity for themselves, it is also a major reason for the division among members of different ethnic groups, causing people from one ethnic group to look down on the culture and traditions of another. Ethnocentrism, as William Graham Sumner put, “is the tendency to assume that one’s own culture and way of life represent the norm or are superior to all others.” (Schaefer, 2015, pg58) To help understand, Schaefer uses the example of how Westerners who use cattle as a source of food might look down on India and their culture, which views the cow as sacred.(pg58) The Westerner believes his way of living is the norm or superior to any other way, which is why he thinks India’s culture is ridiculous.

Throughout history and even now, ethnocentrism has been an, unfortunate, part of everyday life. Whether it be a mall cop following a young african-american male around because he looks “sketchy”, to the horrific crimes of the Holocaust. People have witnessed ethnocentrism daily without even realizing it.

Going to a mall to shop with friends is something everyone, at least once, has probably done. Almost everyone can relate to the feeling of sadness when the pair of jeans you want are just a little too pricey. I was once so absorbed in my jeans predicament that…

Related Documents